Inspiration Articles

Transformational Writing and Sparking Creative Flow

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

pen image from Getting Creative Juices Flowing article

Author, professor and CEO Ocean Robbins and his father John are examples of transformational writers. Ocean recalls:

“I was ten-years-old when my dad first began to write Diet for a New America. It was the first book to expose the truth about factory farms, and the link between food and our planet, to a wide audience. In the five years after the book’s publication in 1987, beef consumption in the United States dropped by 25%, and my dad received more than 50,000 letters from readers, thanking him for changing their lives.

“As we’ve seen in our family, sometimes writing can change the world.”


Idleness and Being Creative

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Between the Trees by Ellie Davies

“I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness – to save oneself trouble.”
Agatha Christie [via brainyquote.com]

We may feel pressured to stay busy and keep producing, but is there some value for developing creativity in being, if not lazy, at least idle for a time?


The Surreal Fashion Photography of Miss Aniela

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Miss Aniela - LEGERDEMAINMost of my limited experience of fashion photography has been the occasional magazine feature or ad, and the images typically seem to me mainly designed to document the clothing.

The work of London-based fashion photographer Natalie Dybisz, who works under the name Miss Aniela, is much more complex and intriguing.

Writer Sarah Bradley describes some of how Miss Aniela works:

“Blurring the lines between art, photography, and fashion, Miss Aniela’s collection of Surreal Fashion takes us to a mysterious place where the most elaborate and fantastical dreams come to life.”


Natalie Fobes on Pursuing Creative Passion

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Natalie Fobes - pipelineHow does our self concept, our identity, affect creative expression?

How do we find creative passions and how does pursuing them demand changes in our life?

One example of an artist who has addressed these questions is Natalie Fobes.

A bio on her site summarizes some of her personal journey and work:

“Not many photographers have faced winds of 90 knots and seas of 40 feet while on a fishing boat in the middle of the Bering Sea.

“Few can describe the bitter cold of a Siberian winter while camped out with Chukchi reindeer herders. Or say that their first client was National Geographic Magazine.


Setbacks and Mistakes and Innovation

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

bridge-to-nowhereWhat seems to be a setback, error or limitation, may often be valuable for encouraging more creative thinking and innovation.

Valerie Young writes about two “mistakes” that resulted in very successful products:

“Did you know, for example, that Post-It-Notes were the result of what 3M Company researchers at first thought to be a bad batch of glue?


A Calling to Be Creative

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Lupita Nyong’o and fatherWhat leads, urges, even compels so many of us to be creatively expressive?

Given that everyone is creative to some degree, why do many people choose careers in the arts, or work that actively engages their creativity?

Most of us will never be actors or other filmmakers – especially ones that are seen and acknowledged publicly – but many of those creators talk about what calls them to engage in creative work, despite the challenges.

One example: Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Academy Award for best supporting actress on March 2, 2014 for her role in “12 Years a Slave.”

In her moving acceptance speech, she noted one source of inspiration for her portrayal of a slave: “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance.”

She also thanked director Steve McQueen: “You charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Thank you so much for putting me in this position, it’s been the joy of my life.”


Painter Robert Genn on Art and Happiness

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Robert GennIn an issue of his newsletter, artist Robert Genn notes that in his book “Against Happiness” writer Eric Wilson “disparages our current love affair with putting on a happy face.”

Wilson thinks that with our “feel good” culture and the “widespread use of happy drugs, everybody’s trying to be cheerful and there are no decent dollops of melancholy and sadness. When this happens, art becomes bland, unchallenging and redundant.”

Genn notes, “Dr. Thomas Svolos of the department of Psychiatry at Creighton University School of Medicine thinks Wilson is right. ‘When you’re melancholy, you tend to step back and examine your life,’ he says. ‘That kind of questioning is essential for creativity.’


Journaling to Bring Creative Ideas to Life

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Journaling to create cool ideas videoMaybe you kept a diary – or still do. Or use a notebook as a helpful tool for personal growth, to track thinking and inspiration.

Artists, as well as entrepreneurs and other creative people, often use storyboards, journals, mindmapping and other idea tools for developing creative projects.


What’s Keeping You From Creative Work?

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Saige Paints the Sky movieAs a child or teenager, we were perhaps more freely creative, but as supposed “grown-ups” we face fears and uncertainties about our talents, or the marketplace value of a particular form of expression, or what our investing in a project means – both for us, and others.

Some forms of creative work may have structures and guidelines to follow, at least during some stages, but at some point the venture is, well, creative. You need to make things up.

There can be many inner threats and challenges to all these aspects of creating.

Author Milli Thornton describes one example: a CPA who kept shutting off his dream to write.


Visualization Can Enhance Creative Achievement

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

“If I hadn’t visualized playing athletes, I wouldn’t have gotten ‘Major League.’ If I hadn’t visualized playing a president, David Palmer never would have happened.”

Creating visualizations of what you want to accomplish can be a powerful strategy for achievement, according to many writers, coaches and research studies.

Perhaps the most research has been about athletes and sport psychology, but artists can use the techniques and approaches as well.

Dennis HaysbertActor Dennis Haysbert has portrayed a variety of dynamic characters in film (such as “Jarhead”) and television (including “24″ and “The Unit”), and says, “I visualize the roles that I want.

“You’ve got to have a sense of what you want to do; otherwise, the universe is just going to throw something at you.”

[TV Guide, July 3-9 2006.]

In her article Awakening the Senses, creativity coach Linda Dessau writes about the book “How to think like Leonardo da Vinci” by Michael Gelb, particularly the “Sensazione” chapter, which Dessau notes “is dedicated to re-awakening and sharpening each of the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.”

She adds, “Gelb offers lots of exercises in this chapter to help you awaken your senses. My favourite is ‘Subtle Speculation: The Art of Visualization’.”


 

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